Posted: 10:18 pm Wednesday, November 17th, 2010
By Jeff Greer
There are 18 playoff games across every class involving teams from our area. This week, Matt and I will break down every matchup.
A major state-title contender has flown under the radar down in Delray. American Heritage was banished from its No. 1 spot in Class 1A after it lost a couple of tough games to start the season. But there’s no denying the talent that the Stallions have, and they look more than capable of repeating at state champions.
Miami’s Westminster Christian is the first box that needs to be checked by American Heritage if the Stallions want to repeat as champs. With all the weapons American Heritage has, it’s not hard to imagine a deep run. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. Admission is $7.
BY THE NUMBERS
How they qualified: Won District 7-1A
Average points per game: 37.7
Average points allowed per game: 12.1
Offensive yardage totals: 3,841 (2,598 rushing, 1,243 passing)
Offensive stars: QB Marcus Davis (868 passing yards, 12 touchdowns, 3 interceptions, 55.2% completion rate, 740 rushing yards, 5 touchdowns), RB Jeramy Gaskins (633 rushing yards, 5 touchdowns), RB Nestor Lantigua (500 yards, 7 touchdowns), WR Herve Coby (377 receiving yards, 5 touchdowns), ATH Greg Bryant (484 rushing yards, 9 touchdowns)
Defensive stars: OL/DL Robbie Nasiff
Common opponents with Westminster Christian: None.
How they qualified: District 8-1A runner-up to Dade Christian
Average points per game: 26.9
Average points allowed per game: 11.3
Offensive yardage totals: 3,038 (1,665 rushing, 1,373 passing)
Offensive stars: QB David Thompson (1,373 passing yards, 8 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, 59.8% completion rate, 862 rushing yards, 15 rushing touchdowns), RB Jameel Middlebrooks (530 rushing yards, 10 touchdowns), WR Danny Reyes (577 receiving yards, 1 touchdown)
Defensive stars: DB Terrance Brown (70 tackles, 2 fumble recoveries, 1 interception)
Area opponents: None.
American Heritage has one major task on its hands: stopping David Thompson. Westminster Christian’s dual-threat quarterback does everything, and his stats back that up. The junior has 1,373 passing yards and 862 rushing, and he’s accounted for 23 of his team’s 34 offensive touchdowns.
American Heritage coach Doug Socha said Westminster Christian runs a variation of sets, including four-wide spreads and two-back, double-tight formations.
“They have an excellent quarterback,” Socha said of Thompson. “They like to run to set up play-action. There’s also a speed-option element, so we have to expect a lot of looks.”
In contrast, Westminster Christian has multiple Stallions to watch, and each of them brings lightning-quick speed that makes American Heritage resemble a track-and-field team at times. It starts with dual-threat QB Marcus Davis. The electric sophomore runs the ball as well as anyone, but he has a nice arm and makes a lot of his throws out of the pocket or on the run. And he has all kinds of weapons, too.
Greg Bryant lines up at running back or in the slot. Herve Coby is a Division I talent at receiver. Tailbacks Jeramy Gaskins and Nestor Gaskins are home-run threats every time they touch the ball. In other words, every time American Heritage has the ball, there’s a chance it will go off for a big play.
It’ll be interesting to see how Westminster Christian plays defense. The Warriors don’t generally give up much in the passing game, but they can be run on. Opponents average 108.2 yards a game on the ground against them. Not good news if you’re Westminster Christian.
“The biggest thing is the message from Day 1 back in January: Defend the 2010 schedule,” Socha said. “We don’t talk about the 2009 championship whatsoever. This is a new team. We’re trying to win every game on our schedule, and we’re playing a one-week season now.”